Lost Chase credit card points on a United website error

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Feb 2, 2018
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Hello all, I hope someone is able/willing to help me. Thank you for reading this.

I was looking to book a trip from DC to Southeast Asia on United Airlines. I checked the website and found acceptable flights available from 5/5/18 through 5/20/18 for 180,000 (business travel) miles. Because I did not have enough United miles to book this trip, I transferred 91,000 miles from Chase to United. As soon as the points transferred a few minutes later, I went through the booking process on United's website. I was able to choose the flights and enter my credit card information. When I clicked on the final button to submit, I received this error message (screenshot attached):

"Error

We're sorry, but united.com was unable to complete your request. Please try again later or contact united.com Support in the U.S. and Canada at 1-800-396-1751; the U.K. at 0800 028 5003; elsewhere use the local phone number."

I tried again. The flights were showing as available, but I received the same error message. Called United and was told that although the flight looks available, it is not available. They attempted to book me on a different day, but the new schedule won't work in my schedule.

As a result, I called United and asked them to transfer the miles back to Chase (they are worth more on Chase). They refused, saying it is a one-way transfer only and to call Chase. I called Chase and they said all transfers are final. I asked that the problem be escalated to the Executive Offices. I spoke with Carla and then Jennifer Hunter in Chase's Executive Offices and they repeatedly just kept expressing that this was the policy they had negotiated with United. They said exceptions could be made if it was a Chase error. Given that this is an error and that Chase should stand by the practices of their partners, I think the same exception should apply.

Otherwise, Chase and United should update the policy so that transfers can be made between the companies. This makes no sense to me. Why is the consumer paying the price of a company's error? Why doesn't one of these company's take ownership and care about a long-standing customer?

If anyone is able to offer any insight, I would greatly appreciate your assistance. Thank you again for your time.

Emily
 

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Jan 6, 2015
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#2
If I understand your post correctly, Chase indicated they could intervene if the error was on their side. Your post and the screenshot clearly show this to be a United Airlines issue. So it seems to me that Chase cannot do anything to help.

However, if you can capture a screenshot from United's website showing the availability of the flight you want for the miles you indicated that may be useful for an appeal to United. To do that you can use the Company Contacts link at the top of this page to present your request to them (via email). Be sure to read and follow the instructions at the top of the initial Company Contacts page.

You may not get the transfer, but United might offer additional miles.
 
Likes: sas80

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#4
Behind the scenes, chase buys the UA miles. There’s no mechanism for the reverse to occur. It’s highly improbable that Chase is going to reverse the transfer since it wasn’t their issue. I’d find a credit or mileage amount that you’d find acceptable and ask for that.
 
Jan 25, 2016
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#5
Chase did what you requested, i.e. transfer points for UA miles. Why you did it is not their concern.

UA, on the other hand, has a long history of showing phantom inventory on other airlines (OAL) -- I am guessing that the flight(s) were on another airline. As suggested above, appeals to UA's management is the way to go, unlikely that you'll get the points exchange unwound, but possibly get compensation from UA for the inconvenience caused by their crappy system.

Also, just as a general point, it does not have to be a code-share where UA is unable to confirm flights that they show for award tickets -- they can be OAL flight #'s.